If you believe that you have been the victim of an employment scam Report it! Only if these scams are reported can the Police and the government Office of Fair Trading take action. You can also get advice on what your chances of recovering any money that you might have paid. 1.
Keep copies of all correspondence about the job, write down names, dates and everything you can remember. Call Consumer Direct on 08454 040506 for advice on what to do next. If the vacancy was inadvertently advertised through the Careers Centre JobZone online jobs database, or on campus, please tell us immediately by ringing 01785 353804 so we can withdraw the advert.
Source: University of Manchester Careers Service
© Careers Centre, Staffordshire University, February 2010 www.staffs.ac.uk/careers
Job Scams Spotting Scam Jobs During your job hunting, you may occasionally see jobs which are not genuine and whose only purpose is to take advantage of you as a job seeker. Protect yourself from being taken advantage of with our guide to dealing with scam jobs. Find out more about:
What is a scam job? Types of scam jobs Tips on avoiding scams Further advice, and what to do if you come across one
What is a Scam Job? The Careers Centre reviews each job advertisement it places in an effort to ensure jobs are genuine, lawful and non‐discriminatory. However, you may see during your job hunting occasional job advertisements on the internet and in other places which are not genuine and whose only purpose is to take advantage of you as a job seeker, usually financially. Sometimes these are illegal, but often they exploit loopholes or grey areas in the law, or rely on the applicant not reading and understanding what they are getting into. These are often called 'scams' or in some cases 'phishing' if they are attempts to obtain your financial/personal data for fraudulent purposes. The following are examples of common scams or are situations you should be wary of: Financial data processing jobs working from your own PC If you receive details of a job requiring you to transfer money through your own bank account in return for payment, this is a classic 'money mule' scam. These jobs may be called 'Financial Agent/Manager' or similar. If you allow your bank account to be used in this way you may unwittingly become involved in criminal money laundering of fraudulently obtained money, or attempts may be made to access your account to withdraw money. Avoid at all costs!
Work from home ‐ earn ££££s These often sound tempting with very convenient hours and the promise of big rewards. However the costs to you are often not obvious (printing, postage etc) and you could spend many hours working for no profit, or find that your work does not meet the organisation's 'quality standard'. Other schemes ask you to pay a fee for 'training materials' which turn out to be instructions on how to get other people to buy into the scheme and give their money to you. Before taking up such a job, ask lots of questions about the scheme, how you can expect to be paid and by whom. Providing financial/personal data about yourself Some organisations (e.g. government related) may require extensive information for background checks, some of which may be requested at application stage. However, as a general rule you should not provide information in a job application about your bank account, National Insurance number, passport or any similar financial/official identification. Employers do have to check that you have eligibility to work in the UK so may need to see your passport before they employ you, but be very wary if asked for this kind of information when you first apply. Paying for something up front Be cautious if you are asked to pay anything before you start work. With some work 'opportunities' you might be asked to pay a fee for membership of a database, to place your CV online, however these are not jobs as such but ways to find jobs. International work experience and volunteering schemes often charge a fee to arrange work visas, accommodation and other aspects of a programme but this is a legitimate part of their business. If you are asked up front to pay for training, equipment or stock, or other things directly related to the work, there is a good chance it is a scam.
minimum level of earnings for your work. If you are considering such a job try to understand whether there is a market for the product/service you are selling and how much work you really need to put in. Try to make an objective judgement about whether you have the resilience and sales ability to succeed in such a job. Career opportunity ‐ Have you ever wanted to be a writer/IT Professional/model/financially successful? You will often be asked to pay for training, coaching or information materials with the suggestion of a wonderful career after. These schemes promise a great deal but often deliver little, typically with no contractual promise of work or earnings at the end. 'Run your own business ‐ we show you how' In some types of work it is common to be self employed or work 'freelance', e.g. photographer, journalist, model, translator/interpreter. However, be cautious of any 'be your own boss' jobs where you have to set up your own business in order to take up the work you are being offered. You will take all the financial risks with no guarantee of income, you may even end up in a loss if you buy stock or invest money. If you are genuinely interested in self employment, the Careers Centre can provide information and refer you to reliable sources of advice.
Tips for Avoiding Scam Jobs 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
If you are asked to pay money for anything up front, read the small print and make sure you ask questions:
What is the fee for? What do you get for your money? What does it not cover? Is there a guarantee of work or earnings?
Schemes where you have to recruit other people into your team to sell for you (Often called 'trading schemes', 'direct selling', 'network marketing' or 'multi‐level marketing'). These often rely on working from home and selling a product of some kind. However to achieve the rewards they promise requires an almost limitless supply of new recruits and usually such schemes collapse with the participants at the bottom of the pyramid making no money or even a loss. Commission‐only jobs and door to door selling These are quite common and mean that the company pays you nothing unless you make a sale, and you could spend many hours working for no reward. These jobs ignore the National Minimum Wage which guarantees you a
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Avoid schemes where you make money by signing up new members to sell for you. Make sure you ask questions about the job if you are unsure. Do not be pressurised to sign up to anything you do not fully understand. Do not part with any money unless you understand exactly what you are getting. When you first apply do not provide bank or financial information, passport or similar identification. These might be required later, but only if you get the job. If in doubt: o Do not apply for the job o Do not agree to sign anything o Do not pay for any services on offer o Do not return any contact with the organisation o Ask the Careers Centre for a second opinion
Advice on Dealing With Job Scams Find out more about how to protect yourself from job scams There are increasing numbers of websites which provide advice on online fraud, scams and identity theft, including some written by the banks and different Police authorities across the UK ‐ you can find these from a Google search. Examples are: www.consumerdirect.gov.uk/watch_out/ www.banksafeonline.org.uk
Published on Jun 10, 2010